Chicken

Strawberry Avocado Chicken Salad

WARNING: HEALTHYISH FOOD AHEAD. Let me back up, though.

Most recently, I started to think of just where I wanted this blog to go. I looked back at a few of the recipes, (which isn’t many) and noticed they all have one thing in common: carbs.

This amped up chicken salad recipe came to me after my mom had sent me home with half a rotisserie chicken. “MOM CAN I TAKE THE CARCASS FOR CHICKEN STOCK?” “Sure,” she said. “I was about to throw it out anyways.”

When I got it to my apartment that night, I realized there was still a ton of meat left on the bones. Having no idea what to do with it, I salvaged what I could and tossed it in the fridge.

Even though chicken salad is something I really love, I don’t make it very often. It can get kind of boring, but adding different ingredients changes it up a bit.

Last weekend I was buying a whole chicken at Whole Foods and it’s very difficult for me to walk out of the grocery store with just one thing, so naturally I had to peruse the produce section. It was here that I decided to add chunks of creamy avocado to chicken salad.

I’m also terrible at checking prices when I’m buying only a few things. My mind thinks I don’t spend as much if I get a few things at a time. Well I spent two dollars and fifty cents on ONE avocado, guys. I’ll go to Whole Foods for their whole chickens, but never again for their “organic” avocados.

Rant over.

I only buy strawberries occasionally because they only keep in the fridge for a few days and I’m back and forth between Chattanooga and home so much that half they time they go bad. I could use them in a smoothie, of course, but I feel like they’re being wasted when I could use frozen ones for that. I mean, does it get any better than a fresh strawberry?

When I go on morning runs, I know it’s best to eat something soon after, but I’m not exactly ready to sit down to a huge breakfast. So I’ll just snack on some fruit, cheese and maybe some turkey slices. One morning I didn’t have any protein, but I remembered that chicken I had shredded earlier. I ate that with a strawberry and it was oddly satisfying.

And then the chicken salad was born.

Along with the avocado and strawberries, I add celery because it needs a crunch to offset all the creaminess. My sister loves to add grapes in her chicken salad, so you can do that too.

I used a rather firm avocado, because it will turn in mush if it’s too ripe. I also salted it before I added it in. A touch of salt does wonders for an avocado.

I also never liked any kind of salad like this on a sandwich. I always ate chicken and egg salad with crackers. I ate this on some plain old saltines, but would probably be delicious on some Triscuits or any kind of flavored cracker. This is definitely more of a snack or a super light dinner.

Try it out and let me know what you think. Good or bad!

[recipe-title=”Strawberry Avocado Chicken Salad” time=”10-15 minutes” difficulty=”easy”]

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded or diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk celery, cut down the middle vertically then chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • dash of salt for avocado

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except avocado.
  2. Once combined, gently mix in avocado.
  3. Serve immediately.

Bacon Wrapped Honey Mustard Chicken

In my previous blog post, I talk about how I rarely eat bacon because it’s so expensive at the store. Well, every now and then, Publix will have some brand of bacon on sale. So I bought a pack. After using most of it for my multiple dishes of 5 Ingredient Pasta, I had about 5 slices left. And I had chicken, and something inside me said to make my own honey mustard sauce, so here we are. Bacon Wrapped Honey Mustard Chicken. Add to a pile of rice or a side salad and dinner is ready.

Over the past like, 10 Christmas’s or so, I’ve been steadily asking for kitchen appliances, gadgets, utensils, etc. You know, a Kitchen Aid Mixer to Food Network Spatulas. Anything that would help me make advanced dishes to simple ones is what I’d ask for. I’ve also collected several hand me downs from aunts and grandmas (HELLO copper bottom saucepans).

The reason I’m telling you this is because when I’m cooking in someone else’s kitchen, most of the time, they don’t have the arsenal of things I have in order to make cooking a breeze. The first time I made this, I was not in my kitchen. I was in a kitchen with not a sharp knife to be seen.

This recipe followed through, though, and gave us the most tangy, savory chicken pieces you could ever ask for.

For the honey mustard sauce, it really takes five minutes to make. You can use a store bought sauce if you want, but the components are probably already in your kitchen, so why not try it? I feel a sense of pride whenever I make something myself that could be bought in the store. Homemade is almost always better and you feel a bit fancy whisking all those ingredients into one happily fused sauce.

I also like to add spicy brown mustard, mostly because I just really like it. One of my favorite snacks is slices of turkey and cheese rolled up with some spicy brown squeezed in the middle.

As for the chicken, it’s incredibly crucial to ensure each piece is similar in size. Otherwise, you’ll have one piece that’s perfectly cooked and one that’s so dry it’s almost inedible (I’m not talking from experience or anything…). To avoid this, you can pound out each piece with a meat tenderizer (I’m not ashamed to say I used the bottom of a meatloaf pan) until they’re about the same size.

Bacon Wrapped Honey Mustard Chicken

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, each breast cut into 2 strips
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

For the honey mustard sauce:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for honey mustard sauce. Whisk and set aside.
  3. Cut each chicken breast in half, then pound to ensure each piece is about the same size.
  4. Season with garlic salt and onion powder. Then drizzle about a tablespoon or so of honey mustard on chicken.
  5. Take one slice of bacon and wrap around each piece, then drizzle more honey mustard sauce onto chicken.
  6. Transfer chicken onto sheet pan and bake for about 20 minutes until juices run clear. You can also drizzle more sauce on the chicken about halfway through the cooking process, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately with leftover honey mustard for dipping.